Water, Fire, Destruction: After the Superstorm
NEW YORK (AP) – New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg says the death toll in the city from the huge storm is up to 10.
He also says it could be three days or more before power is restored to hundreds of thousands of people now in the dark. He is giving no estimate on when public transit would be running, though he expects some buses be running later Tuesday.
The megastorm Sandy caused 13-foot storm surges in Manhattan. Trees also fell throughout the area.
New York City is starting to clean up after the storm hit late Monday into Tuesday causing flooding, high winds and major power outages.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says the sudden middle-of-the-night flooding of two towns was the result of a tidal surge that sent water overflowing a natural berm.
The governor says the surge hit the Hackensack River.
He says hundreds of people have been rescued from the low-lying towns of Moonachie and Little Ferry.
Residents of a Moonachie mobile home park say water overflowed a nearby creek when the tidal surge occurred. In Little Ferry they say water gushed out of storm drains.
Local and county officials initially reported a levee had broken, but the governor says that was erroneous.
A blizzard warning covers a large part of West Virginia as snow and high winds blow over Appalachia on the edges of superstorm Sandy.
The National Weather Service said Tuesday a foot and more of snow was reported in lower elevations of West Virginia, where most towns and roads are. High elevations in the mountains were getting more than two feet.
More than 128,000 customers in West Virginia were without power.
Authorities closed more than 45 miles of Interstate 68 on either side of the West Virginia-Maryland state line because of blizzard conditions and stuck cars.
The State Highway Administration in Maryland says the higher elevations in the western state have gotten more than a foot of snow since Monday afternoon, and it was still snowing at 5 a.m. Tuesday.
Phone and cable companies are still assessing the damage in the storm-hit areas of the East Coast amid widespread reports of phone outages in flooded areas.
Cablevision, which serves parts of Long Island, New York City and New Jersey, says it’s experiencing widespread outages due to the loss of power. Verizon Communications, the biggest phone company in the region, says some facilities in downtown Manhattan are flooded, shutting down phone and Internet service. The company doesn’t yet know the extent of outages in New Jersey, which bore the brunt of the storm.
AT&T says there are “issues” in hard-hit areas, and it’s in the early stages of checking for damage and restoring service.
Superstorm Sandy has a long reach, with flight cancelations stranding air travelers around the globe.
The flight-tracking service FlightAware says more than 6,000 flights were canceled today, bringing the total to more than 15,000 canceled across the Northeast over two days. And more than 500 flights scheduled for tomorrow have also been canceled. The number surpasses the winter storm of early 2011 when 14,000 flights to be scrapped over four days.
New York is the nation’s busiest airspace with about one-quarter of all U.S. flights going through daily. But the three big New York airports remain closed for a second day.
Flights have been canceled across Europe and Asia and travelers overseas could wait days to get back to the East Coast of the U.S. An official with a trade group for airports worldwide says even if storm damage is minor, it could be a week before operations are normal at major East Coast airports.
Amtrak says most train service in the Northeast remains suspended and a decision will be made later in the day on restoring limited service north and south of New York on Wednesday.
The railroad said in a statement that Amtrak crews are currently inspecting tunnels, tracks, equipment and stations in the Northeast to assess damage from Hurricane Sandy and are beginning to make repairs to sections of Amtrak-owned track. Amtrak said it is also working closely with other railroads on whose tracks Amtrak trains operate to determine when passenger train service can resume.
Most Amtrak service on the East Coast as far north as Boston and as far south as Raleigh, N.C. remains suspended and stations along those routes are closed.
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